CAHI Tracks 2,271 State Health Insurance Mandates

The number of state mandated benefits increased by over 100 mandates from 2010 to 2012, from 2,156 in 2010 to 2,271 in 2012, according to nonprofit association of insurance carriers the Council for Affordable Health Insurance (CAHI). A health insurance mandate requires insurers to cover specific health care providers, benefits, or patient populations. The study, Health Insurance Mandates in the States, 2012, noted that mandated benefits can increase the cost of basic health coverage from slightly less than 10 percent to more than 50 percent, depending on the state, the specific legislative language, and type of health insurance policy.

The CAHI report found that the states with the most benefits mandates were Rhode Island (69) and Maryland (67), followed closely by Virginia (66), Minnesota (65), and Connecticut (65). The state with the fewest benefits mandates was Idaho (13), followed by Alabama (19), Michigan (24), and Iowa (26).

The most popular mandates were mammography screening and maternity minimum stay, which were mandated by all 50 states. The least popular mandates were breast implant removal and cardiovascular disease screening, which were mandated by one state each.

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